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The first step your lawyer will take in defending your murder case is to carefully consider all of the prosecution’s evidence, and determine whether any of it may excludable. Before the trial starts, your lawyer has the option of filing a motion to suppress the evidence, which may result in some important evidence being removed from the case.
In the context of a murder case, there are several scenarios in which evidence might be excludable:
There are two ways to win a murder trial: claiming an affirmative defense or proving there is a reasonable doubt as to whether you actually committed the crime. An affirmative defense means that you admit to having intentionally killed someone, but you claim that your actions were justified. The primary affirmative defenses to murder charges are the following:
When using an affirmative defense is not an option under the facts of your case, your lawyer will attempt to show that the prosecutor did not demonstrate every element of the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Juries are instructed to return guilty verdicts only when the prosecutor proves that there is no doubt as to whether the suspect committed a crime. In the context of a murder, this means presenting unambiguous evidence that you actually killed the victim, and that you did so intentionally.
Your Cuyahoga County lawyer can challenge the prosecution’s witnesses and reinterpret the evidence to show the jury that there is reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor can’t show with certainty that you are the perpetrator, you will likely receive a verdict of not guilty. If the prosecutor proves that you committed the crime, but there is some doubt as to whether you acted intentionally, you may receive a manslaughter conviction, which is a less serious offense.
Every case is different, so you should consult with a reputable Cleveland criminal defense attorney if you’re facing charges for murder or another violent offense. At James Sidney Jones, LPA, we approach each case we handle with determination, compassion, and aggressiveness. To learn more about how we can help, call us today for a free and confidential consultation of your case.
Your initial consultation will always be free and confidential. Call (216) 797-9520